The Botswana National Front (BNF) publicity secretary, Moeti Mohwasa, has thanked people who voted for the party in the Draaihoek/Makopong by-election last Saturday.
The BNF candidate, Rueben Matswiri won the by-election by 489 votes to 329 of his Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) opponent, Rejoice Bimbo. In a press statement, Mohwasa said that the results show that the BNF is still a popular party. He added that the support the BNF received demonstrates that the voters believe that the party can bring meaningful changes in their lives. He lashed out at critics, especially those who argue that the BNF is headed for major embarrassment during the 2009 general election.
He described detractors as prophets of doom. Mohwasa said that the BNF had won the by-election because its policies are generally known countrywide. He said that while many thought BNF would fare badly in next year's elections, members have demonstrated in the by-election that the party is still popular despite the bad publicity surrounding its president Otsweletse Moupo. "It should be noted that the Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) won this seat in the 2004 general election with a margin of 200 votes," he said. He added that the BNF got 504 while the BDP had 704. He expressed confidence that the BNF is going to grab the Kgalagadi North constituency from Cabinet minister Neo Moroka. Mohwasa has said that his party's strength in the constituency has grown tremendously. He stated that the by-election results confirmed that the party's plan to win the Kgalagadi constituencies is on track.
BDP executive secretary Dr Comma Serema has dismissed Mohwasa's claim that the BNF is going to unseat the BDP in Kgalagadi. He said the BNF won the ward because some BDP members did not vote for their party. "There were some divisions and we are still awaiting a report from the branch committee," said Serema. He added that it is regrettable the BNF had sailed through because of minor differences by BDP candidates who contested the primaries.